Monthly Archives: November 2019

BEMS Improving Access, Out of Hours, Appointment Service

BEMS started providing the Improving Access (IA) service from 1 October 2018 for most practices in B&NES. This service is for patients needing routine, bookable in advance, core primary care services – GP and Nurse appointments.

We have clinics available at each IA site and patients can book into them via their GP practice receptionists.

Appointments are available 6-9pm Monday to Friday and Saturday and Sunday mornings 8-12 noon at 3 sites as follows:-

BATH at Oldfield Surgery/Widcombe Surgery (3 monthly rotation)

PAULTON at Elm Hayes Surgery

KEYNSHAM at St Augustine’s Surgery Saturday mornings only 8-12 noon

The staff working in the Improving Access sites will have access to your own GP practice patient record if you have given permission to share (permission will be asked by the receptionist when you book your appointment through your own GP surgery)

We welcome any feedback from patients using the Improving Access service, please email us on

For more detailed information ask your GP surgery receptionist. These appointments are not available to book online


The 18-24th November is ‘Self Care week’. As a practice one of our aims is ‘To provide high quality health care while encouraging patients to take responsibility for their own health and illness.’ Clearly with the demands currently facing the NHS it is really important for patients to be able to help themselves when appropriate. We have listed below a number of resources which we feel may help you to do this more effectively.

Please firstly consider seeing your pharmacist at your local chemist

Did you know community pharmacists are qualified healthcare professionals who can offer clinical advice and over the counter medicines to effectively and safely manage a range of minor health concerns?

Pharmacists can offer advice on illnesses such as coughs, colds and stomach upsets. You don’t need an appointment to see them and many have private consultation areas. Your pharmacist will tell you if you need further medical attention.

There is an A-Z list of conditions with very useful information to help you to manage your health on the following website: .

For Acute illnesses

What to have in your medication cabinet and why:

 For parents with children

Very good app available to smart phones called “HandiApp” which gives advice on common childhood conditions.

Also a very good Wessex website:

This explains common childhood illnesses including:

High Temperature/Fever, Breathing difficulties and wheeze, Cough and Cold, Sore Throat, Earache, Diarrhoea and Vomiting, Tummy ache, Rashes in babies and children and Common infections.

For those that have young babies

There is an app called ‘Baby buddy’

This gives advice for parents with new babies- what is normal and what is not.

For adults:

Very good website called the self care forum

Good fact sheets on:


Common cold




Headache and migraine

Heartburn and indigestion

Low Back Pain

Otitis media


Sore throat

Sprains and strains

Urine symptoms in men

For patients that have difficulty swallowing tablets

 There are helpful hints at:

For patients with mental health problems